March 1, 2020
First Sunday in Lent
Discipline is good, but when what we do is divorced from who we are in Christ Jesus, all our energy can be spent for naught. We may be left feeling empty despite great effort and striving. Jesus reminds us, “Whoever abides in me bears much fruit!” When we are plugged into Christ through His Word, His Spirit fills us with love and life. Christ, our source and hope, blesses us with joy and meaning as His “fruitful” branches.
RED LETTER CHALLENGE—We are on Day 6 of The Red Letter Challenge. This week's theme is “Being.” Follow along with the Challenge daily on our Facebook page. Share in the Challenge with Pastor Matt’s or Cheryl Cassidy’s Sunday School classes. Children’s classes also follow along with the Challenge. Supplemental questions to enhance your personal study are available in the narthex.
DAY OF PRAYING—You are invited to “be” with Christ this Wednesday, March 4. Refer to the bulletin insert for open prayer times in the sanctuary, worship times, and a prayer guide. Don’t want to pray alone? Prayer partners will be available on-site 6:30-8:00 am and 11:00-4:00 pm.
COMMUNICATIONS SURVEY UPDATE—The Communications Committee would like to thank those who participated in the recent survey. We have found your feedback invaluable as we evaluate the policy that will guide Our Shepherd communications. The committee has met twice to analyze and discuss the results and has compiled a list of action items for the Church Governance Board to consider. We will be taking next steps to obtain a clearer picture from ministry leaders on their needs for communication. We appreciate the trust you have placed in the committee and we will update you as more progress is made.
PRAYER GARDEN—This is the final weekend for the brick display in the narthex. If you need help with a design or want to sponsor a brick, please contact Donna Maloney at or order online at https://www.brickmarkers.com/donors/osl/
OSLS—As we begin the final trimester of this school year, we reflect on God’s blessings upon us including: thirteen transfer students since school started, an in-house resource teacher to provide additional support for our students and teachers, our special education partners from Avon who love our school as their own and have a heart for our ministry, and parents supportive of their children and the ministry of our school. Please raise up prayers of thanks for the gifts that God has provided in our students, teachers, and parents and that we can continue to bless them with the Good News of Jesus!
SHARE LIFE WITH OUR SHEPHERD-This weekend, couples from our congregation are participating in our Marriage Retreat in Brown County. We lift them up in our prayers, along with all of our families, that God will bless the husbands and wives of our congregation with true love for each other, patience for one another and the joy that kindness, respect, and honor bring to our families, united in Christ.
IN OUR PRAYERS
Sara Bartleson, Donald Levenhagen, Tee Lipsey, Pat Marsh, David Payne, Buddy Ray, Anna Rosebrough, and John Widau. For all of our homebound members including Katie Koontz. For all missionaries including Pastor Dan Coffey, IN State Police Chaplain. For all who are imprisoned. For all persecuted Christians throughout the world. For our active military, including Dominick Greci, Dylan Pliska-Lyndoe and Rex Rafferty.
Midweek Lenten Services, Mar. 4, 11, 18, 25, Apr. 1
Red Letter Challenge, Day of Praying, Mar. 4
Red Letter Challenge, Day of Forgiving, Mar. 11
Red Letter Challenge, Day of Serving, Mar. 21
Red Letter Challenge, Day of Giving, Mar. 25
OLD TESTAMENT READING, Genesis 3:1-21
1Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. 8And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. 15I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”16To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children .Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.”17And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.19By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” 20The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
EPISTLE READING, Romans 5:12-19
12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. 18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous.
GOSPEL READING, John 15:5-17
[Jesus said], 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.”